About Me

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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The next big thing

Last Wednesday my dear friend and extremely talented writer, Alashiya Gordes tagged me to be part of ‘The Next Big Thing’. It works like this: an author answers the ten questions below on his/her blog and then tags up to 5 other writers to do the same the following Wednesday. It has been far too long since I last wrote a blog post, so here goes. Thanks to Alashiya for prompting this one. She has been prompting a lot of writing in my life lately-pushing me beyond my comfort zone at a time when I have very little time for sleeping, let along writing. Thank you for that, Alashiya!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Oranges Taste Like Freedom

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

From the experience of how the external environment shapes internal geography and vice-versa. And from my personal fascination with the very human desire to find a place to call home.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Fiction.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Wow. This is tough. It would have to be actors from Cyprus, Greece, Italy or Israel. History tells its story across the maps of faces and in the eyes in this part of the world in a way that it does not in Western Europe or North America. Ordinary people who have known the experience of leaving one's home for good and learning to be an immigrant in a foreign land.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Multiple generations of women in a family explore loss, hope and reinvention as they move through constantly evolving internal and external landscapes.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agency. Once it is written. I am very much still in the first stages of writing this novel so I am taking it one day at a time.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

As I say above, I am still writing this novel. I hope to have completed a first draft within the next year, and then begin the process of editing. I am hoping that small, consistent yet humble steps will get me to my goal.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are many writers whose work has inspired me over the years, and that have inspired my interest in historical fiction and the exploration of internal and external landscape, and the relationship between the two. Some of these are: Lawrence Durrell's Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, Anne Michael's Fugitive Pieces, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, and most recently The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Reading an article by Ruth Gruber about her experience of visiting a Displaced Persons Camp in Cyprus in the aftermath of World War II, and learning that over 60,000 Jews were imprisoned on the island between 1945 and 1949--a fact that despite having been raised on the island, I was never told anything about.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The descriptions of place, history, culture, and the exploration of relationships and simple yet profound instances of common humanity that reach across the seemingly insurmountable (in the part of the world where I was raised, and at the period of history in which the novel is set) barriers of language and religion.

My nominations for Next Big Thing includes two writers, both of whom are making waves in the world of poetry and performance:

Daniela Elza was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Nigeria and currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and two children. She holds two Master's Degrees: one in English Philology from Sofia University, and a second, in Linguistics, from Ohio University, and a PhD in Education from Simon Fraser University. Daniela's writing has appeared in more than 30 publications. Her book of poetry, The Weight of Dew, was published in 2012. (http://strangeplaces.livingcode.org)

Ahava Shira is a poet, storyteller, performer and long-time journal writer with 20 years experience as an artist and educator. She is the founder and director of the Centre for Loving Inquiry, where she supports women to develop their artistic and entrepreneurial passions and gain the confidence they need to share them with others. Ahava leads individual and group mentoring programs, has her own weekly radio show called Love in the Afternoon, is an active performer and speaker, and leads retreats. Ahava holds a PhD in Education. (https://www.ahavashira.com)

Check out these two ladies and their blogs to learn more about two writers who might just be the next big thing!